Andrew Fountain - If anyone is thirsty - John 7:37-39


Sermon notes - If anyone is thirsty —John 7:37–39

  • Watch video of water bringing life:

John 7:1,2 and 37-44

  1. After this Jesus traveled throughout Galilee.
    He stayed out of Judea because the Jewish leaders wanted to kill him.
  2. Now the Jewish feast of Booths was near.
  3. On the last day of the feast, the greatest day, Jesus stood up and shouted out,
    “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me, and 38let the one who believes in me drink.
    Just as the scripture says,
    ‘From within him will flow rivers of living water.’ ”
  4. (Now he said this about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were going to receive,
    for the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.)
  5. When they heard these words, some of the crowd began to say, “This really is the Prophet!”
  6. Others said, “This is the Christ!”
    But still others said, “No, for the Christ doesn’t come from Galilee, does he?
  7. Don’t the scriptures say that the Christ is a descendant of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?”
  8. So there was a division in the crowd because of Jesus.
  9. Some of them were wanting to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him.

based on NET Bible

  • Why should they want to kill him?
    • If someone said that here, would you want to kill him?

The Feast

  • Feast of “Tabernacles” or “Booths” or “Tents” or “Temporary living places”
    • explain background (fun, like camping)

Old Testament Background

1. Feast of Tents

Deuteronomy 16 —God commands the feast

  1. You must celebrate the Festival of Booths for seven days, at the time of the grain and grape harvest.
  2. You are to rejoice in your festival, you, your son, your daughter, your male and female servants, the Levites, the resident foreigners, the orphans, and the widows who are in your villages.
  3. You are to celebrate the festival seven days before the Lord your God in the place he chooses, for he will bless you in all your productivity and in whatever you do; so you will indeed rejoice!
  • Deuteronomy 16:13–15 commands the feast
    • so it lasted 7 days, and was after the harvest—a very joyful time
    • Jewish history books (Josephus & Macc.) tell that the feast was kept for 8 days

Leviticus 23 —tells us what they did

  1. On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you gather in the produce of the land, you must celebrate a pilgrim festival of the Lord for seven days. On the first day is a complete rest and on the eighth day is complete rest.
  2. On the first day you must take for yourselves branches from majestic trees—palm branches, branches of leafy trees, and willows of the brook—and you must rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.
  • Leviticus 23:40 tells us what they did
    • note previous verse (v39): 15th day, 7th month
    • After the captivity, the temple was rebuilt.
      • they compared the glory of the former temple —there was so much less gold
      • but there was a prophecy that the Messiah would come:
      “The Messiah will come and fill this temple with glory”

Haggai 2

  1. On the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the Lord spoke again through the prophet Haggai:
  2. Moreover, the Lord who rules over all says: ‘In just a little while I will once again shake the sky and the earth, the sea and the dry ground.
  3. I will also shake up all the nations, and they will offer their treasures; then I will fill this temple with glory,‘says the Lord who rules over all.
  4. ‘The silver and gold will be mine,‘says the Lord who rules over all.
  5. ‘The future splendor of this temple will be greater than that of former times,’ the Lord who rules over all declares, ‘and in this place I will give peace.’ ”
  • Haggai, 2:6–9
    • was spoken on the same day and the same spot, more than 500 years earlier!!!
      —Haggai makes a careful note of the exact day

Isaiah 12

  1. At that time you will say:
    “I praise you, O Lord,
    for even though you were angry with me,
    your anger subsided, and you consoled me.
  2. Look, God is my deliverer!
    I will trust in him and not fear.
    For the Lord gives me strength and protects me;
    he has become my deliverer.”
  3. Joyfully you will draw water
    from the springs of deliverance.
  • Isaiah 12:1–3
    • We know from writings at the time that they would read this verse during the feast
    • Isaiah 12:3 was associated with the feast. “Therefore with joy...”
    • We also know that they had practice of water pouring as they quoted this (from pool of Siloam)

2. Water theology

  • -The theme of Water had strong roots in the Jewish minds
  • -Remember when the Israelites were brought out of captivity in Egypt,
  • -and after a few days in the desert they had run out of water... What happens? you DIE!
  • God provided water from a rock
    -Ex 17:3–6 – Moses struck the rock
    -Num 20:2–13 – Moses struck the rock when told to speak to it.
  • This theme of God providing water from a rock is taken up in the songs of Israel:
    • Ps 78:15,16 “He brought streams out of the rock… rivers of water…”
    • Ps 105:41 “…opened rock and waters gushed out…”
      • it was a symbol of freedom and of new life
  • The Apostle Paul says that this rock was a picture of Christ
    • 1 Cor 10:4b “For they were all drinking from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.”
  • Then the idea is picked up by the prophets: there will be a new Exodus… explain
  • Part of that was water in the New Exodus

2b. Water in New Exodus

Isaiah 48

  1. Leave Babylon!
    Flee from the Babylonians!
    Announce it with a shout of joy!
    Make this known!
    Proclaim it throughout the earth!
    Say, ‘The Lord protects his servant Jacob.
  2. They do not thirst as he leads them through dry regions;
    he makes water flow out of a rock for them;
    he splits open a rock and water flows out.’
  • Isaiah 48:20,21 —from Babylon
    • But never any water coming out of Babylon—there was something more it was pointing to.
    • There was a level of excitement in the prophecies —pointing to that!
  • Joel 3:18 —rivers of water

Joel 3

  1. On that day the mountains will drip with sweet wine,
    and the hills will flow with milk.
    All the dry stream beds of Judah will flow with water.
    A spring will flow out from the temple of the Lord,
    watering the Valley of Acacia Trees.
  • Then look at Joel 2:28… —Can you see the connection? (Pentecost)

Joel 2

  1. After all of this
    I will pour out my Spirit on all kinds of people.
    Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
    Your elderly will have revelatory dreams;
    your young men will see prophetic visions.

2c. Water theology cont’d

  • It is also linked with the idea of a new creation (rivers in garden of Eden)
    • Water is a symbol of this new creation.
  • Summary: Streams of water = salvation – as in the Exodus

3. Link between Water and Spirit

  • Read John 7:38,39
  • Now read: Isaiah 44:1–3

Isaiah 44

  1. “Now, listen, Jacob my servant,
    Israel whom I have chosen!”
  2. This is what the Lord, the one who made you, says —
    the one who formed you in the womb and helps you:
    “Don’t be afraid, my servant Jacob,
    Jeshurun, whom I have chosen!
  3. For I will pour water on the parched ground
    and cause streams to flow on the dry land.
    I will pour my Spirit on your offspring
    and my blessing on your children.

3b. Link between Water and Spirit

  • You can see this connection very clearly!

Summary of ideas:

  • feast of Tents:
    • looked back to Moses, wilderness
    • freedom from slavery
    • God’s supernatural provision
  • Streams of water:
    • Salvation, God’s Spirit
  • Promise of pouring out
    • new Exodus
  • Let’s go back to John

4. Context in John

  • Jesus constantly connects himself with the Wilderness.
  • He is the New Moses—greater than Moses—ready to lead them out of captivity.
  • John 3:14 “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up.”
  • John 5:46,47 “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me.”
  • John 6:1ff. feeding of the 5000
    -then they asked for bread and implied that Moses had given them Mana
  • John 6:31–35 “it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but my Father is giving you the true bread from heaven.”
  • then in our own chapter, chapter 7

4b. John 7—One greater than Moses

  1. Jesus replied, “I performed one miracle and you are all amazed.
  2. However, because Moses gave you the practice of circumcision… you circumcise a male child on the Sabbath.
  3. But if a male child is circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses is not broken, why are you angry with me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath?
  • To the Jews, Moses was almost equal to God.
    • Now can you tell why they wanted to kill Jesus?
    • See how it all fits together!

4c. Greater than Moses

  • Moses led them out of slavery
    • Jesus is the new Moses
  • Moses gave them water from a rock
    • But Jesus Christ is the Rock
  • Moses gave them manna
    • But Jesus is the bread from heaven
  • Moses lifted up a serpent
    • But Jesus is the one who was lifted up

Jesus is proclamating the Gospel

  • Come to ME
  • I will lead you out of slavery
  • “If anyone thirsts, come to me!”
  • Did people thirst in those days?
    • Woman of Samaria, —what was she thirsty for? —relationships, (despite 5 husbands)
  • for hope, messed up lives
    • Come and Drink
  • Are people thirsting today?
    • suicides
    • depression
    • divorce
    • violence
    • drugs
  • Never has the world promised so much and delivered so little
  • Christ is holding himself out as The Answer (New exodus from slavery)
  • How can HE help us? (dead 2000 years)
    • He is alive and rules by the power of his Spirit
    • Spirit -> life from the dead
    • Spirit -> new creation
    • Spirit -> is the one who satisfies
  • How do I come?
    • (what do we as Christians tell people if they ask us?)
    • Ask / Follow
    • Jesus frequently told people to leave what they were doing and follow him
    • That means stopping our old lifestyle, and looking to him to guide us as to what is right
  • So we have to do two things to get this water:
    1. Ask
    2. Trust him enough to follow him completely
  • If you are already following Jesus and feel dry, want more of this water, it’s the same!
  • Two amazing verses to end with:

Isaiah 55:1–2

  1. Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
  2. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
  • Revelation 22
  1. The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.
  • Pray for everyone who is thirsty for more

Updated on 2015-09-06 by Andrew Fountain